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Iloilo gets P30-M agri loan fund

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allocated a P30 million loan fund for two towns in Iloilo to help improve the country’s lending for the agriculture sector.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said the department has allotted P20 million for Dumangas town and another P10 million for Passi City as part of the Production Loan Easy Access program.

The program allows farmers and fisherfolks to borrow from P5,000 to P25,000 without any collateral and a six percent annual interest payable in at least two years.

The lending program will be available through local cooperatives and rural banks and the maturity will depend on the kind of agricultural commodity.

Apart from increasing agricultural productivity, the program aims to reduce and eventually eliminate the dependency of farmers on government subsidies and dole outs, and contribute to the administration’s target of reducing national poverty by end-2022.

The DA also plans to put up a grains processing complex for the milling, packaging and marketing of Passi City’s produce, as well as a tissue culture laboratory and organic fertilizer processing facility.

In Dumangas, one of the richest oyster production areas of Panay Island, the DA plans to support the development of over 500 hectares of abandoned fishponds into a mangrove replanting area.

The DA is likewise backing the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ stand against the construction of a fuel depot in Dumangas which will be in close proximity to fishponds, oyster farms and hatcheries.

“I already signed an endorsement of the BFAR position paper to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor. While the town is interested in inviting investors to come to the town, we should respect the position of the people who depend on the sea for their livelihood,” Pinol said. 

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